ONTD Political

McDonnell signs state rape bill.

12:10 pm - 03/08/2012

McDonnell signs state rape bill.

Bob McDonnell, Virginia Governor, Signs Mandatory Ultrasound Bill Into Law
Source: HuffPo

WASHINGTON -- Va. Gov. Bob McDonnell signed a controversial mandatory ultrasound bill into law Wednesday afternoon, making Virginia the seventh state to require women to have an ultrasound procedure before they can legally have an abortion.
A previous version of the bill would have forced women to undergo an invasive, likely painful transvaginal ultrasound procedure if she was too early into the pregnancy for a more typical transabdominal one to detect fetal age. After that bill sparked widespread protests, McDonnell and House Republicans worked together to write a new bill that would allow women to opt out of the more invasive procedure in favor of an external one.
Democrats are still not pleased with the compromise. Critics of the bill say that it's medically unnecessary and constitutes an egregious government overreach into personal medical decisions that women should make with their doctors.
The bill, which some Democrats are comparing to state-sponsored rape, has sparked several protests at Virginia's state Capitol in Richmond.
"We have taken out the state-required rape from the bill, but the way it is now is still an assault because it's an unwanted touching," state Sen. Janet Howell (D) told HuffPost in an interview, "and the woman is being coerced to have that happen in order to exercise her constitutional right to an abortion."
Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group that wrote a model ultrasound bill on which Virginia Republicans and lawmakers from several other states have based theirs, called Virginia's new law the "gold standard of medical care" on Wednesday.
"Abortion advocates engaged in a vicious campaign of misinformation against a proposal that would require a life-saving ultrasound test before giving women an abortion-inducing drug or an abortion procedure," AUL CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest said in a statement on Wednesday. "We know that women with ectopic pregnancies have died when given life-ending drugs, which makes it particularly egregious that abortion advocates fought to prevent women from having all the medical information they need for informed consent. Ultrasounds are the gold standard of medical care, and women deserve to have such testing." 

The Rachel Maddow Show had a great segment on this last night explaining how the "new" bill isn't much different at all. It leaves the possibility of mandatory and medically unnecessary vaginal probing (i.e. legislated rape) quite open and perhaps even probable Maddow explains how the amended bill still requires proof of gestational age. Thus although it removes the 'mandate' for the Vaginal Probe, it still does mandate the "bell jelly" (external) ultrasound of AND that ultrasound can't determine the gestational age.   So  the the woman has to be "offered" the internal vaginal probe ultrasound. What happens if she says NO? The law DOES NOT clarify. Thus leaving it open for interpretation by whatever fuckhead local doctor, or official.  I can't help but believe that this law will ultimately be found unconstitutional if only for the vague language. 

24_24_1_1526 my first and only reaction.8th-Mar-2012 06:47 pm (UTC)
riath 8th-Mar-2012 06:55 pm (UTC)
ellenel13 8th-Mar-2012 07:24 pm (UTC)
i hope horrible things happen to this man
schmanda 8th-Mar-2012 07:24 pm (UTC)

This has not been a good year for my blood pressure.
not_emily 8th-Mar-2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
This was pretty much my face while reading this:

sihaya09 8th-Mar-2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
OMG, what is the context of this gif?
chaya 8th-Mar-2012 10:07 pm (UTC)
I think it has to be a shoop.
not_emily 8th-Mar-2012 10:50 pm (UTC)
sihaya09 8th-Mar-2012 10:52 pm (UTC)
jjj 9th-Mar-2012 12:20 am (UTC)
chaya 8th-Mar-2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
Is it really reasonable to continue calling this a rape bill when:

A previous version of the bill would have forced women to undergo an invasive, likely painful transvaginal ultrasound procedure if she was too early into the pregnancy for a more typical transabdominal one to detect fetal age. After that bill sparked widespread protests, McDonnell and House Republicans worked together to write a new bill that would allow women to opt out of the more invasive procedure in favor of an external one.

Not saying the bill is no longer bullshit, I just feel like since external ultrasounds are now an option to call it a 'rape bill' is just diluting the word.
eveofrevolution 8th-Mar-2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
bnmc2005 8th-Mar-2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
If you watch the Maddow clip she explains that even though they left out the language that specifically states she "must" get a vaginal probe- the bill itself still insists on looking for something that can ONLY BE FOUND USING THAT PROCEDURE.
chaya 8th-Mar-2012 08:53 pm (UTC)

...I hate my state right now.
eyetosky 8th-Mar-2012 08:08 pm (UTC)
"to undergo an invasive, likely painful transvaginal ultrasound procedure if she was too early into the pregnancy for a more typical transabdominal one to detect fetal age."

... see, now, the funny thing with that is that one excuse given to me was that it was mandatory to check on the age of the fetus prior to the procedure, to ensure it wasn't three months old, thus making it a late term abortion.

I ain't a biologist or a doctor with fancy booklearnins, but I'm pretty sure if it's too early to tell the age with a standard procedure, one would be pretty safe to bet that the fetus is way less than three months old, now wouldn't it?
bnmc2005 8th-Mar-2012 09:04 pm (UTC)
Logic. You haz it.
kyra_neko_rei 8th-Mar-2012 09:51 pm (UTC)
Off topic but I wonder where else in the world something that is exactly 1/3 of the way through would be called "late term."
chaya 8th-Mar-2012 10:08 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I don't think any real doctor would call a end-of-1st-term, very-start-of-2nd-term abortion 'late term'. There are... 3 terms.
coolster 9th-Mar-2012 12:21 am (UTC)
I'm currently expecting, and my OB is almost completely non-invasive; she measures my belly to make sure my uterus is an appropriate size for baby's growth. No need for sonograms, except for at 8 weeks to check for some issues (I suppose ectopic pregnancy is a threat to fetal development, but not an issue for a woman who chooses to abort), and at 20 weeks to do some important fetal measurements.

So... the need for sonograms does not seem to make sense to me in order for a woman to have an abortion. Pregnancy can be confirmed from a simple blood or urine test, and gestational size from measuring a women's uterus size.
mollybarton 8th-Mar-2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
I'm ashamed to be from Virginia. :(
ceilidh 8th-Mar-2012 08:17 pm (UTC)
re any doctors ever speaking out about this? I I was a doctor I'd be pretty pissed that a bunch of lawmakers who don't know shit about how to do my job are telling me how to do my job and how to interact with my patients.
roguebelle 8th-Mar-2012 08:32 pm (UTC)
A bunch of doctors testified against this and the defeated HB 1 while they were still in committee, and the sole physician in the General Assembly made a very eloquent speech opposing it.
ceilidh 8th-Mar-2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
I'm not surprised they were ignored. :/
roguebelle 8th-Mar-2012 08:34 pm (UTC)
If you would like to tell the Governor how you feel about this (especially effective if you are a Virginian): http://www.governor.virginia.gov/AboutTheGovernor/contactGovernor.cfm

I wrote a pretty long and strongly-worded (though not profane) letter -- about the eight billionth I've sent to some gov't official or another this season, it feels like.
4eyedblonde 8th-Mar-2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
I wish I was more articulate because I would like to send him an email without ragey keyboard smashing to get my point across.
roguebelle 8th-Mar-2012 08:47 pm (UTC)
Well, if it may help to inspire you, here's mine. Like I said, I was definitely a bit strident, but it's always important in these things to keep a somewhat cool head (and not cuss anyone out or say anything super-snarky, despite the temptation).
mollywobbles867 8th-Mar-2012 08:56 pm (UTC)
Whenever I write my Congress people or governor, I always go through at least five drafts of pure rage before I come up with something that gets my point across in a way that may actually be read rather than ignored because of the cussing and all caps. lol
4eyedblonde 8th-Mar-2012 08:45 pm (UTC)
This fucker... I swear to god.
violetrose 8th-Mar-2012 08:55 pm (UTC)
Women deserve all the necessary information when it comes to pregnancy and abortion. What women are not, though, are completely uninformed idiots with no concept of what a pregnancy or foetus is.

Furthermore, if a woman has saved up the money and traveled a presumably long distance to get an abortion - that means that she wants an abortion. Medically unnecessary ultrasounds will do nothing but either; piss her off, or make her feel violated and uncomfortable.

"We know that women with ectopic pregnancies have died when given life-ending drugs

Citation needed. Ectopic pregnancies are almost always a threat to the woman's life - and you either don't see that, or don't care. You're doing a good job of proving that you hate women, though, so keep it up! :D
kyra_neko_rei 8th-Mar-2012 09:53 pm (UTC)
"We know that women with ectopic pregnancies have died when given life-ending drugs

I thought assisted suicide was illegal?

Also, what do you expect if you give someone life-ending drugs? Of course they'll die!
peace_piper 9th-Mar-2012 04:22 am (UTC)
Not to mention, if she has to pay out of pocket for the abortion is she going to get stacked with the bill for the ultrasound too? The ultrasound she didn't even want?
shadwrayvn 8th-Mar-2012 09:42 pm (UTC)

seriously just arggg

drownanddive 8th-Mar-2012 10:31 pm (UTC)
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Can someone do this to him? I just...why does my state fail so much??
hera_bearrra 8th-Mar-2012 10:57 pm (UTC)
hera_bearrra 8th-Mar-2012 11:08 pm (UTC)
URGHHHH these fuckers want to stop abortions by shaming women and violating their bodies but they're too fucking stupid to realize that if you really want to stop abortions you have to start by preventing unwanted pregnancies by INCREASING ACCESS TO CONTRACEPTION.
nikoel 8th-Mar-2012 11:23 pm (UTC)
They're not too stupid to realize it, they just don't fucking care.

These lawmakers don't give a shit about abortions or babies or women. They want us to get out of the public sphere altogether and the most time-tested way they can think of is to keep us occupied with children at all costs. They are anti-women, full stop.
celtic_thistle 8th-Mar-2012 11:08 pm (UTC)

I can't even anymore.
iamrosalita 9th-Mar-2012 01:01 am (UTC)
I hate this fucker so very much. I've never been so happy that Virginia governors can't succeed themselves and he'll be gone in 2013. He campaigned as a moderate and fooled a lot of people.
schmanda 9th-Mar-2012 01:21 am (UTC)
That's what pissed me off the most (well, after Deeds' Campaign of Invisibility), that people bought the moderate nonsense, as if his Regent thesis was just some harmless speculative fiction.

Oh, and "Bob's For Jobs!" How's that coming along? (I mean, setting aside our reliance and benefitting from horrible, horrible federal gummint jobs, which are bad in GOP World until they keep your unemployment rate relatively low and then they're not.)

Sorry, got on a bit of rant there...
4eyedblonde 9th-Mar-2012 04:05 am (UTC)
No, no, it's alright. Let it all out, my fellow Virginian.
eridaelectric 9th-Mar-2012 03:04 am (UTC)
This is thoroughly depressing and demoralizing. I feel completely powerless reading this. And I don't even live in Virginia. I hope Virginian women can find safe ways of getting abortions without having to go through that awful procedure, whether it be through legal/political means or otherwise. Fucking sick.
hinoema 9th-Mar-2012 08:12 am (UTC)
The AMA needs to stand up and tell the lawmakers to stop legislating their profession, already. Women need to collectively tell these lawmakers that if they do shit like this, they get fired.
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